Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Prep Work: Day 2

Days till Chemo starts: 5
Number of Needle Sticks in the past 2 days: 6
Number of Failed IV's: 2
Doses of radioactive material injected into my body: 2
Yesterday I got a phone call saying that the scheduling guru's made a mistake by scheduling me for a 6:15 a.m. PET scan because they did not even open till 7:00. Thankful for the extra sleep, I said GREAT!

Jackie and I were up, showered and out of the house by 6:30 (well I might be fudging that time just a bit!). We got to our checkin place at 7:04 and then we were directed out to the parking lot. I guess a PET scan is so expensive no hospital in the area can afford their own. So they all pitched in and purchased a moveable scan that is housed in the back of a semi truck. (I promise photos later!) This semi truck has 3 rooms in its cargo area; an office, the scan room, and a lab room.

As soon as we get in the lab room, Nick, the Tech, says I was 45 minutes late. I told him about the phone call the day before. He told me they squeezed me in to accomodate my need for a quick PET scan. The folks who called and told me not to come in did not understand what was going on. The end result, I backed up the entire day.  Clearly the right and left hands were not talking to each other.

After getting an IV, I was injected with a sugary radioactive material that needed 45 minutes to work it's way through my body. The cancer cells are rapidly dividing and require more sugary substances. They use the radioactive material to see where in my body those cancer cells are located.  We want the results of this test to say that the cancer cells are only in my left and right sides of my neck.  The results were suppose to be at my doctors office by the end of today.  The PET Scan itself only took about 20 minutes. All in all, I believe Jackie and I were on our way by 9:00.

(Note: Jackie decided to not observe and hang out in the tiny cargo area of that semi truck with all of that radioactive material. She cited something about maybe wanting healthy children someday.

In between appointments, Jackie and I got to do some fun stuff on her last day in Kansas City. We stopped for breakfast, visited my work, and then caught up with a bunch of friends for lunch at Oklahoma Joe's BBQ.  I am so thankful Jackie suggested Oklahoma Joe's, the food was amazing, the place is a hoot (it is inside a gas station), and it was great seeing some good friends. 

At 2:00 pm we meet with the surgeon who will be inserting a Double Lumen Groshong Catheter in my chest later this week. I will receive all of my chemo injections through this catheter and hopefully they can also remove blood from this site and save me from the needle sticks. Jackie looked this device up on the internet and showed me photos. It reminds me of a Y adaptor you use on electronics. The base of the Y will be in my chest (just below my left clavicle), anchored down with stitches. the branches of the Y will be dangling from my chest.  Doesn't that just sound lovely.

My surgery will be Friday morning.

After we finished there, Jackie and I attempted to rush over the hosptial because I had picked up a brochure about Look Good....Feel Better organization. They were at North Kansas City Hospital yesterday showing cancer patients how to deal with hair loss. I have to tell you, for a person who is trying to keep up a normal work life while going through treatment, the loss of one's hair is a huge issue. Oh hell, let's be real, what woman wants to lose their hair. Even if I was home during this whole process, I would be freakin' out!

I thought about it all day long and finally decided that with Jackie by my side I had the strength to walk through that door and deal with one of my biggest fears. We got there about 2:35 and the room was completely vacant. I guess no one showed up for this service and they closed up shop early. As hard as it was to walk through that door, that is the amount of disappointment I felt when we found the empty room.

Thanks to Jackie and my sister-in-law, they picked up their cell phones and called around to find when and where this organization will be at over the next few weeks.

The best news of the day; despite the additional injection of radioactive material into my system, I am no longer dangerous to my baby girl. After all the necessary running, Jackie and I got to go to the Nana's house and pick the Short Chic up. Believe me, I have a lot of hugs and kisses to make up for!

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